For weeks, idle Turkish tanks have been watching from the hills in southeastern Turkey as Islamic State forces pound the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, just a few hundred meters across the border. That lassitude has prompted many Westerners to voice doubts about Turkey’s commitment to eradicating the Islamic State.
With apple-picking season underway in Moldova, Vasile Nitrean, a farmer in Soroca, a northeastern town near the Ukrainian border, says he has “big problems.” For the past 15 years, he has sold his crop to Russian buyers. Now, because of a Russian ban, he, along with many other farmers, needs to find a new market, and fast.
Almost 80 years ago, ideological true believers from all over the world flocked to Spain to fight in a civil war, serving in the famed International Brigades on the Republican side. These days, echoes of Spain can be found in Ukraine, where foreign ideologues now can be found battling separatists backed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey's commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.
Armenia's last-minute decision to join a Russian-led customs union at the expense of much closer ties with the European Union has been widely attributed in the West to strong pressure and bullying by Russia.
The European Union is mulling ways to expand its textile trade with Uzbekistan, a major cotton supplier. Rights activists are lobbying hard against the ratification of EU trade measures, asserting that adoption would encourage the continuing use of forced child labor in the Central Asian nation.
BRUSSELS -- Top NATO and European Union officials met Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Brussels amid strong condemnation from nongovernmental organizations, who bemoan Tashkent’s woeful human rights record.
The Brussels visit is the first in years for the authoritarian leader and has dismayed rights groups, who say it marks his rehabilitation in the West.
President Islam Karimov will visit Brussels on January 24 to meet the President of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Barroso, the Belgian authorities, and officials at NATO HQ, a spokesman for the EC has confirmed.